TheSMRTcoregulator functions as a dual coactivatorandcorepressor for estrogen receptor-α (ERα) in a gene-specific manner, and in several studies its elevated expression correlates with poor outcome for breast cancer patients. A specific role of SMRT in breast cancer progression has not been elucidated, but SMRT knock-down limits estradiol-dependent growth of MCF-7 breast cancer cells. In this study, small-interfering RNA (siRNA) and short-hairpin RNA (shRNA) approaches were used to determine the effects of SMRT depletion on growth of ERα-positive MCF-7 and ZR-75-1 breast cancer cells, as well as the ERα-negative MDA-MB-231 breast cancer line. Depletion of SMRT inhibited growth of ERα-positive cells grown in monolayer but had no effect on growth of the ERα-negative cells. Reduced SMRT levels also negatively impacted the anchorage-independent growth of MCF-7 cells as assessed by soft agar colony formation assays. The observed growth inhibitions were due to a loss of estradiol-induced progression through the G1/S transition of the cell cycle and increased apoptosis in SMRT-depleted compared with control cells. Gene expression analyses indicated that SMRT inhibits apoptosis by a coordinated regulation of genes involved in apoptosis. Functioning as a dual coactivator for anti-apoptotic genes and corepressor for proapoptotic genes, SMRT can limit apoptosis. Together these data indicate that SMRT promotes breast cancer progression through multiple pathways leading to increased proliferation and decreased apoptosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas